After hearing all those horrific stories of Christian Science-practicing parents willing to let their children die rather than abandon their destructive and absurd beliefs, I’m glad to hear the church is taking one step forward by allowing followers to see doctors.
It’s not saying much, considering they’ve spent decades walking backwards… But it’s a start.
… faced with dwindling membership and blows to their church’s reputation caused by its intransigence concerning medical treatment, even for children with grave illnesses, Christian Science leaders have recently found a new tolerance for medical care. For more than a year, leaders say, they have been encouraging members to see a physician if they feel it is necessary.
Perhaps more significantly, they have begun a public campaign to redefine their methods as a form of care that the broader public should consider as a supplement rather than a substitute for conventional treatment, like biofeedback, chiropractic or homeopathic care.
In other words, the broader public should understand there’s no credible evidence that “their methods” work and sane people would do best to abandon them altogether.
It’s not a “supplement.” It’s a gigantic waste of time.
It’s a con. Just like Chiropractics. Just like Homeopathy.
The church is still being secretive about how it treats its own people, though, and followers who see actual doctors risk being shunned by their community.
Religious scholars say the church’s past reticence, even secrecy, in the face of what its leaders have considered persecution, makes it difficult to know how widely the new message is being embraced among members, or how long it will last.
Publicly, the church has always said that its members were free to choose medical care. But some former Christian Scientists say those who consult doctors risk ostracism.
Church officials recently permitted two practitioners and two patients to talk about Christian Science treatments with a reporter from The New York Times — a rare public discussion that they said they hoped would demonstrate the commitment to transparency, and would help people understand their beliefs.
They would not discuss the care of children or let a reporter witness a treatment session. And neither practitioner was willing to discuss the new flexibility described by [church spokesperson] Mr. [Philip] Davis.
But maybe with this change of heart from the church, their tragedies don’t have to be in vain.
(Thanks to Karen for the link)